regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Lok Sabha elections: 1000-drone show for PM Modi at Varanasi’s Dashaswamedh Ghat

'The show will be organised from 7.45pm to 8pm every day till Sunday to make people aware of the development carried out by Modi in his parliamentary constituency'

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow Published 11.05.24, 04:51 AM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has campaigned on land in Varanasi and on water, taking boat rides along the Ganga and waving to his constituents gathered on the ghats.

Now he is campaigning from the air too.


One thousand drones have been deployed for a 15-minute light-and-sound show every evening at Dashaswamedh Ghat as part of Modi’s election campaign before he files his nomination papers from Varanasi on May 14.

The show began on Thursday evening and will continue till May 12. The drones weave different patterns in the night sky so that their lights form themselves into graphic visuals depicting, among others, the Kashi Vishwanath temple, the lotus (the BJP’s election symbol) and Modi himself. The audio includes slogans and commentary.

“The show will be organised from 7.45pm to 8pm every day till Sunday to make people aware of the development carried out by Modi in his parliamentary constituency,” said Navaratan Rathi, BJP media-in-charge in Varanasi.

With the majority of the viewers being BJP workers on Thursday, they continuously chanted “Phir ek baar Modi sarkar (A Modi government once again)” and “Abki bar, char sau par (This time, 400-plus)”.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a BJP leader said: “The local BJP unit is not involved in this show. We were informed about it and asked to bring people to the ghat during the show.”

He added: “Many leaders here are disappointed because businessmen from Gujarat get preference in any work here. We don’t have any option other than to assist them.”

He said that people gather at the ghat to watch the Ganga Aarti every evening and the show starts immediately after so that the crowd stays back to see it too.

“However, Varanasi is a traditional city and will lose interest in such a digital campaign soon. Otherwise, too, it’s like convincing the already convinced,” he said.

“Modi is going to win from here. We don’t know why his managers have suddenly become doubtful and are conducting such shows.”

Vitesh Shah, an executive with an advertising company that is organising the event, told reporters: “This is the first such programme held for a political party. We need one person (operator) to fly each drone.”

State Congress president Ajay Rai, the INDIA candidate against Modi, said: “Modi is spending crores of rupees on his campaign because he knows that defeat is imminent.”

He added: “I went to file my nomination (on Thursday) on a bicycle so that I don’t add to the traffic jam here. When Modi comes to file his nomination on May 14, you will see how the entire city is cordoned off for his luxury cars.”

Rai, who prayed at the Ganesh, Kashi Kotwal and Kashi Vishwanath temples before filing his nomination, said the people of Varanasi feel that Modi has cheated them with tall but unfulfilled promises.

“People are facing drinking water scarcity and are wasting their time every day in traffic jams,” he said.

“Youths have realised that Modi doesn’t want to empower them by creating job opportunities. Obviously, he will try to cheat them again with innovative campaigns.”

Varanasi votes on June 1

Follow us on: